WJ Tested: Globus La France Motorcoach Tour – Normandy and Brittany

Omaha Beach

Omaha Beach

WJ Tested: Globus La France Motorcoach Tour – Normandy and Brittany

Day 4:
Today our Globus La France motorcoach tour would visit Normandy and Brittany. Our 6:15 a.m. wake-up call was punctual and we had our luggage outside our door before going to breakfast at 7 a.m. The buffet breakfast in the hotel dining room was simple, but adequate – coffee, tea, juice, pastries, croissants, fruit, deli meat, cheese.

Omaha Beach:
We departed from the hotel by 7:50 a.m. while Vic gave us a short, but rather in-depth overview about the area’s history and the impact that WWII had had on the region. Within 25 minutes we were solemnly standing in the wind viewing the memorial on Omaha Beach.

Memorial Museum at Omaha Beach

Memorial Museum at Omaha Beach

It was a very sobering and humbling moment for all in our group, and some shared stories about relatives that had served in the war. We think most were envisioning troops coming out of the ocean, the German’s waiting in their bunkers on the hill above, and the mayhem that subsequently followed.

Bunkers at Omaha Beach

Bunkers at Omaha Beach

As this wasn’t part of our tour schedule, we only stayed a short time, but it was long enough to feel in awe of those brave soldiers that risked and gave their lives so many years ago.

Omaha Beach Facts:

  • Omaha Beach is the code name for one of the sectors in the Normandy beach landings on June 6, 1944
  • The beach is 5 miles/8 km long
  • It faces the English Channel
  • Located on the coast of Normandy
American Cemetery and Memorial

American Cemetery and Memorial

American Cemetery and Memorial:
Our next destination in Normandy was the American Cemetery and Memorial, and as we drove along Omaha Beach we saw the few bunkers that remain, and fishing boats being towed by tractors towards the sea.

American Cemetery and Memorial

American Cemetery and Memorial

The American Cemetery and Memorial, near the village of Colleville-sur-Mer, sits on 172.5 acres and is the resting place of nearly 11,000 souls. With about 90-minutes to spend at the site, we spent time both in the Visitor Center and walking through the cemetery.

 

Mont-Saint-Michel

Mont-Saint-Michel

Mont-Saint-Michel:
By 10:30 a.m. we were again back on the coach for the 2-hour journey to Mont-Saint-Michel. As we drove along, Vic handed out brochures for our visit to the UNESCO site, and the song “Lili Marleen” sung by Marlene Dietrich, played overhead.

Once we arrived in Mont-Saint-Michel, there was time to have lunch before our guided tour. Vic offered to arrange a 2-course lunch (euro 15) for anyone interested (salad starter and lamb with vegetables) at one of the restaurants near the parking area for anyone that cared to do so. We declined as we wanted to spend the 60-minute lunch break exploring.

Mont-Saint-Michel Cloister

Mont-Saint-Michel Cloister

In order to get from the area where the coach parked to Mont-Saint-Michel, we needed to ride a shuttle bus for about 5 minutes. Vic escorted us on the shuttle, then left us for a couple of hours with an expert local guide, Gayene.

Abbey Mont-Saint-Michel

Abbey Mont-Saint-Michel

A visit to Mont-Saint-Michel requires comfortable footwear and good knees if you want to walk up the 936 steps that need to be traversed. Although there are only 22 local residents living at Mont-Saint-Michel, there are over 3.5 million visitors per year.

La Mere Poulard at Mont-Saint-Michel

La Mere Poulard at Mont-Saint-Michel

Our visit did not give us adequate time to try the famous omelette (prices start at euro 25) at La Mere Poulard, but we did take a few minutes at the end of the tour to take photos of the omelette-making process from the open kitchen.

La Mere Poulard Omelettes

La Mere Poulard Omelettes

Once we were finished with Gayene’s guided tour, Vic once again met our group and escorted us on the shuttle bus and then back to the coach for the 45-minute drive to our hotel in St-Malo. At this point, we left Normandy and drove into Brittany, where we witnessed a complete change of architecture – to granite buildings.

 

Interesting Travel Tips:

  • Isigny Butter is the best butter in France!
  • Unlike Normandy, and other areas of France, there are no toll roads in Brittany
  • Caen is the capital of Calvados and was 80% destroyed in WWII

 

St-Malo in Brittany, France

St-Malo in Brittany, France

St-Malo:
The Oceania Hotel in St-Malo is situated along the beach, and some guestrooms have wonderful beach and ocean views with nice balconies, but many do not. So those in our group that had oceanview rooms certainly enjoyed them more than those that overlooked the construction site across the street.

Oceania Hotel in St-Malo

Oceania Hotel in St-Malo

Oceania Hotel in St-Malo

Oceania Hotel in St-Malo

Once we received our room keys we had about 20 minutes before meeting Vic in the hotel lobby. He was taking us for a 30-minute guided walk along the ramparts, followed by about 10 minutes free time to spend wandering the old town before making our way back to the hotel for our included dinner.

St-Malo, France

St-Malo, France

The local dinner was at La Table d’Henri– across the street from the hotel. A 3-course fixed menu offering two choices for both the starter and main course, was served to our group in a private room.

Goat Cheese Starter

Goat Cheese Starter

Tomato and Cheese Starter

Tomato and Cheese Starter

Veal Stew with Potatoes Main Course

Veal Stew with Potatoes Main Course

Smoked Salmon and Rice Main Course

Smoked Salmon and Sauerkraut Main Course

The fruit salad for dessert wasn’t very well received by most passengers, and especially not by those celebrating a special occasion – a sparkler in a cup of fruit salad just isn’t very festive!

St-Malo Fun Facts:

  • St-Malo is a coastal fortified city in Brittany
  • Was named after the Welsh monk Mac Low
  • The fortified city encompasses 44 acres
  • Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand was born in St-Malo in 1768

    WJ Tested: Globus La France Motorcoach Tour - Normandy and Brittany

    WJ Tested: Globus La France Motorcoach Tour – Normandy and Brittany

By 9:30 p.m. dinner was finished, and while some in our group went to the casino adjoining the hotel, others took a stroll on the beach or just called it a day. The sun didn’t set until nearly 10 p.m. so despite clouds and a sprinkling of rain, it was a very pretty evening.

If You Go:
- American Cemetery and Memorial
- St-Malo
- Oceania Hotel St Malo
- Globus
- La France Tour

Read More About WAVEJourney’s Globus La France Adventures:
| Overview | Paris Day 1 | Paris City Tour Day 2 | Normandy Day 3 | Normandy and Brittany Day 4 | Loire Day 5Loire Valley and Bordeaux Day 6 | Saint Emilion Day 7 | Biarritz and Lourdes Day 8 | Carcassonne and Nimes Day 9 | Pont du Gard and Avignon Day 10 | Monte Carlo Day 11 | Grasse to Grenoble Day 12 | Lyon to Dijon Day 13 | Dijon to Paris Day 14 |

2 Responses to WJ Tested: Globus La France Motorcoach Tour – Normandy and Brittany

  1. All of these cemeteries, whheter they be American, French, English, or another nationality are so humbling to me.My grandfather is buried in one in Luxembourg, where Patton is buried. It’s always a moving experience to me when we visit.

    Ankur 10/27/2012 at 6:17 am Reply
  2. Taking the train (from Paris Montparnasse to Rennes and then the bus from Rennes to Mont St. Michel) will take you between three and a half hours and three hours and forty-five mietuns, or so the SNCF website tells me. If you purchase your ticket now, they’re about 32.80 each way (but keep in mind those tickets can’t be exchanged or reimbursed if you change your dates of travel). I don’t know how close the train station is to the actual Mont, though I don’t recall having seen it on my visit, but then again, I wasn’t really looking for it. Over six hours of travel is a LOT for one day, so you may want to plan to stay nearby St. Malo isn’t that far away and it’s a nice little town. Unless, of course, you plan to drive, which would allow you more freedom.

    Rosella 10/28/2012 at 9:58 pm Reply
Add Comment Register



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CONNECT WITH US